PHOENIX – As restaurants across the state start to reopen, one segment that may struggle more than others is buffet restaurants.
While a lot of people love picking out exactly what they want, how much they want, and then going back for more, it also means customers congregating over steaming hot food, using the same utensils as they load up their plates. It’s possibly not the best fit for dining during a pandemic.
With COVID-19 still spreading, customers may be slow to come back to buffets and salad bars anytime soon. Sweet Tomatoes has already filed for bankruptcy, permanently shutting down nearly 100 restaurants and laying off 4,400 employees.
Other states are banning buffet-style operations for now. That, along with health guidelines and consumer skittishness, may force a change to this segment of the restaurant industry, a segment that includes Asian food restaurants, hotel brunches, grocery store salad bars, and soup bars.
Another popular type of restaurant that will have to change are those with communal tables. These types of restaurants have become popular over the past decade.
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Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu.
Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever.
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.
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Right now there’s one big difference between flu and coronavirus: A vaccine exists to help prevent the flu and it’s not too late to get it. It won’t protect you from catching the coronavirus, but may put you in a better position to fight it.
To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.
And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms – don’t go straight to your doctor’s office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.
In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) – How it spreads, symptoms, prevention, treatment, FAQ
https://espanol.cdc.gov/enes/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html (In Spanish/En Español)
Arizona COVID-19 Response – Public resources, FAQ, webinars
https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/es/covid-19/index.php#novel-coronavirus-home (In Spanish/En Español)
Does wearing a face mask protect you from coronavirus and other infectious diseases?
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Social distancing: What to do and what not to do to slow the spread of COVID-19
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